Roses to Rings, BOSB‘06

Looking Good and Feeling Good

Place to Buy Jewelry

Bryant & Sons, Ltd.

812 State St., 966-9187; 1482 E. Valley Rd., Ste. 37, Montecito, 565-4411

Rules and protocols of love demand certain iconography — hearts, candies, flowers, and when it’s serious, jewels and the diamond you marry her with. There are even more expensive rings that say, “Whoops, you caught me.” And don’t forget bling, which in certain professional circles is a must. Bryant & Sons has always prided itself on covering the whole range with beauty and great versatility. You can get it here.

Finalist Fibula Daniel Gibbings Jewelry

Bridal Shop

Santa Barbara Bridal

15 W. Figueroa St., 730-7300

Kielle Lindsey is overjoyed to have made the readers’ list at all, seeing as they’ve only been open for a year. But it’s not like the fourth-generation Santa Barbaran is new to the business — she was general manager of the recently closed Rumours, a store that routinely took top honors in this category for the last decade. “I’m super excited to win this award,” said Lindsey, whose store specializes in the highest end (Vera Wang) bridal couture, but also has something for every price consideration. “This is such an honor. Santa Barbara is such a great place to start a business, and everybody has been so supportive.”

Finalist Ana-Maria-Bridal Boutique

Place for a Wedding Reception; Kid’s Summer Camp

Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens

500 Niños Dr., 962-5339

The camp has been running every summer for 31 years. “So now we have a lot of fun; we have a second generation of people coming out to the camp — their parents went and now they’re going. The best part I think is how we’ve kept this focal point on the camp. We work on the experience of each age group that goes through, so we’re constantly refining it,” said Director Rich Block, whose gorgeous zoological gardens are on the property once known as the Child’s Estate, snuggled in by the bird refuge and East Beach. Using the zoo as a wedding site has been very popular throughout the years, too, with parties ranging from small (about 50) to huge. Block is very proud that Food Network’s super-babe Giada De Laurentiis recently came to the place and filmed an upcoming episode of Behind the Bash. “We have about 45 weddings here every year, which is almost one a week,” he said. “We’re very honored that Santa Barbara loves to come here.”

Finalists Place for a Wedding Reception: Bacara Resort & Spa; Kid’s Summer Camp: YMCA

Bed & Breakfast

Upham Hotel

1404 De la Vina St., 962-0058

They are celebrating the Upham’s 135th birthday this year. “The funny thing is that we were around back before the Arlington Hotel and the Potter were built,” said Upham General Manager Jan Martin Winn, who thinks it’s ironic that those long-gone hotels are the ones people talk about when the historic Upham, where George Clooney stayed recently, doesn’t get so much historic attention. The Upham was there before Stearns Wharf, when the building’s cupola could be used to espy tourists boating in to the beach. But is the venerable Upham a bed and breakfast? “Maybe it’s a little big for a B&B, but it certainly has all the charm,” said Winn, laughing. “It’s whatever people want it to be.”

Finalist Simpson House Inn

Limo Service; Cab Service

Rock Star Taxi & Limousine

217 W. Gutierrez, 882-9191

“We’re definitely thrilled,” said Rock Star owner James “RockStar” Houseman. “We have a nice little following based on our musical theme,” he said, referring to the iPods blasting music in their limos and cabs. And though the cab service has been growing steadily for four years, this is the first year they’ve done limos and it’s been stellar. “I never would’ve guessed we’d be winning this prize this year,” he said. “Thanks for everybody who voted for us, making us number one.”

Finalists Limo Service: Spencer’s Limousine & Tours; Cab Service: Blue Dolphin Cab

Romantic Restaurant

El Encanto Hotel & Villas

1900 Lasuen Rd., 687-5000

Of course it’s one of the stars of the moonlit, heart-beating dining experiences where the sighs may have less to do with the cuisine than with the company. The food was pretty great, though. But the point is, it’s gone. The restaurant, part of the hotel as well as a nice place to meet anyone for anything at anytime of day has been torn down, to rebuild, the owners say, the exact same thing — only with newer materials. Owned by the people who send the Orient Express shuttling from Paris to Istanbul with a four-star dining car, the new place has the advantage of location no matter what they build. Ironic that they won now that they’re gone, but let’s hope they win again after the reconstruction.

Finalist Cold Spring Tavern

Place to Buy Intimate Apparel

Victoria’s Secret

651 Paseo Nuevo, 962-1023; 130 S. Hope Ave., Ste. 17-A, 569-7111

Well it wasn’t going to be Sears. From a male perspective, this is one of those shopping trials you tend to judge with deep ambivalence. Sure it’s fun to go in with or without a woman friend. But, on the other hand, there seem to be many unwritten laws about where your eyes should travel and how the expression should register. Cool appraisal seems best, and when making a purchase, just remember the clerks have heard every dumb joke you are about to tell. But the best thing about shopping here, whether you are a boy or a girl, is how easy the clerks make those unmentionables buyable.

Finalist Tropical Affair Lingerie & Bikinis

Tuxedo Rental

King Tux Formal Wear

22 W. Calle Laureles, 682-8888

It’s been in the Petrini’s district since 1974, according to owner Brian Kaylor. Their secret to success is a huge inventory ever ready for your emergency formal wear situations. “We have low prices and a lot of stock,” said Kaylor. “And we’re particularly good at last-minute stuff; we’ll definitely find you something.”

Finalist Mission Tuxedos

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Dyer Returns as Interim Fire Chief

When Eric Peterson steps down, Mike Dyer will fill in for County Fire.

Santa Barbara Bodybuilder Wins Mr. Olympia Competition

At 43, Shawn “Flexatron” Rhoden ties for the oldest champ in the contest's history.

Renovated Cabrillo Ball Park Now Open

The park got new exercise equipment, multi-use grass turf areas, and an upgraded softball field.

UCSB Researcher Charged with Molesting Child on Campus

Dr. Hongjun Zhou was arrested September 6.

Teen Serial Robber Caught and Confesses

The suspect was identified through an anonymous tipster.